With frigid winter temperatures often come grey skies, skeletal branches and dreary, stark landscapes. But 12 hours in Kenosha, Wisconsin—a charming harbor town about an hour north of Chicago—is all it takes to discover some of the more vibrant hues of the colder months. The lakeshore is awash in a clear blue that stretches outward, seemingly forever, and a pop of red in the form of a lighthouse keeps things interesting.
There’s white all around still—lingering snow on the ground and puffy clouds in the sky—but mix in green from a vintage ferry or a rusty orange from the side of a quiet building, and you find yourself far away from the boredom and misery that February and March in the are famous for in the Midwest.
Kenosha, The Second Time Around
My impromptu mid-winter trip to Kenosha was the second time I’d been there, and served as a much-needed weekend getaway. I knew what places to scope out—the quaint shops on 6th Ave., the infamous Frank’s Diner (which was unfortunately closed) the Kenosha Public Museum.
But I found myself drawn to new establishments and areas I hadn’t seen before. My friend Scott and I wandered into a thrift shop, an art and crafts boutique, an antique store and even a gamer’s shop buzzing with the excitement of dozens of boys. It was in some ways exactly as I remembered it, and in other ways, completely different.
Taking Chances Means Getting Cold
A Sunday in Kenosha feels like a Sunday. The streets were calm and many shops were closed. For the most part, it seemed, people were at home, warm, with family, relaxing, doing what it seems Sundays are meant for. But when the sun finally set, we were treated to a gorgeous pink display, something we would have missed had we been home safe and sound.
Some would say winter’s not the best time to explore, but if you take a chance, make a plan, wear a hat, don a heavy coat and brace yourself for the freezing winds, you might just find something that will delight you.